tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 4, 2015 4:00pm-5:01pm EST
but can you blame one for thinking no? the intentions may be good. the results are really clear. we are trapping people in poverty in this country. we have to make sure that it always pays to work. in 1996 we created a work requirement for welfare. it was phenomenally successful. that was just one program. have to fix all the others now. i would combine all of them and send that money back to the state for better poverty fighting solutions. require everyone who came to work. let states and communities try different ideas and contest the results. i have found that the poorest neighborhoods often are the most creative. they are full of entrepreneurs and innovators. full of people to really actually know how to fight poverty, i to i, person-to-person, soul to soul. they don't need to be supplanted. they need to be supported. and so this is the difference
between the left and the right. they look at people in the nec a burden to bear. people to take care. we look at people in need and we see potential your push wages up. push the cost of living down. get people off the sidelines in this country. i could think of no better way to restore confidence in the american economy. and as we grow more secure at home we will grow stronger on the world stage. in fact, that too are absolutely and directly related. if we want to create good jobs, we need to make more things in america and sell them overseas. let's never forget, 96% of the world's people, they don't live in the united states, 11 other countries. and we will not sell them as much as we could if we don't negotiate good trade agreements. other countries will not stop taxing and blocking our exports less we negotiate with them, and less we set the terms.
look at it this way. if you add up all the countries that we do not have a trade agreement with, have a big trade deficit in manufacturing. but if you add up all the countries that we give a trade agreement with, we have a surplus. before we sign up for any trade agreement we have to make sure it's a fair deal. i'm thinking of the trans-pacific partnership in particular. we have to engage, we have to leave. only an active forward leaning american content down barriers to american exports for our jobs. this is more than a negotiating strategy. it goes to the core of our philosophy. we believe in free enterprise. we believe that together good idea, you should have a fair chance to make it happen. that means that american should not have to wait to pay unnecessary costs or to wait just to get a permit. they should compete on a level playing field just like everybody else.
and when we do that we will win. i don't know why we would not fight for every job that is out there. i don't know why we wouldn't accept or even worse adopt other countries corporate welfare when we know our system of real free enterprise is better. there will not be a level playing field. there will not be free or fair trade and less we work for it. china is out there everyday pushing for crony capitalism. their own version of corporate welfare. so it all comes down to this question. are we going to write the rules of the global economy, or is china? i would also say that uniting our friends behind good trade agreement will enhance our national security. but, of course, the biggest danger to our national security, it's much more straightforward. our adversaries are not respecting us. too many people, too many people think a warning from the united states is a hollow protest of a
has-been. that has to change. we need to build a 21st century military. [applause] thank you. and i don't mean just for more money into the pentagon. we have to reform the pentagon so it can adopt new threats. acquire new capabilities more quickly. whether its advanced missile defense or directed energy weapons. and there is no person better to leave it at and the chairman of the house armed service committee, mac thornberry. [applause] a strong america does not threaten the peace. a strong america is what protects the peace.
and we need to act like it. isis, isis is a threat. we need a strategy to defeat it. offerings in europe and asia and in the middle east our embattled. we need to give them our support. we need to strengthen both our economy and our military to show the world that freedom works. and when we do, the world will see a confident america once again. this is how i see the choice. now the country needs to see it. today, what i have done here is to lay out our principles. now we, together, collaboratively, we need to turn them into policies. we are not going to solve all the country's problems next year. we need a new president. it's just that simple. but even if we cannot move mountains, we can make moves in the right direction. the cautious they wait for the opportunity, but the prudent
will make their opportunity. we can make progress on issues where there's bipartisan agreement, like rebuilding a roads and bridges are bring some certainty to the tax code. we don't have to compromise our principles to work with the other side. even a blind court to find a nut every now and then. as hard as it might be to believe, even politicians can find common ground. so what it all comes down to is whether we conservatives have confidence in ourselves. do we really believe our philosophy is true? do we have the best ideas? if so, then i see actually no reason why we should not hold back. the truth is, the left wants to make this a debate about personalities. they want to paint us as irresponsible. is because we all know what the left stands for. we all know what another progressive presidency will mean, just more of the same. so don't take the bait. don't play that game.
don't give them a win by default. put together a positive agenda and take it to the american people. give the people of this country the choices that they have been yearning for. and if next year this house can say that we have done that, then we will have done our job. then the people will know that stand for more prosperous, a more secure, and yes, a more confident america. and the rest, well, the rest, the rest will be up to the people, as it should be. into very much for attending today. god bless you. thank you. [applause] -- thank you very much for attending today. [applause]
>> you have a third leg in the progressive movement which is the racial justice like which has no home and asked a candidate, and to talk about the dreamers on the latina site, the black lives matter movement, idle no more a month in america's. you have a racial justice third wing of the party with no candidate and no voice and not even the pretense of a black candidate to mass all that and they exploded into public view. >> sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. the republican jewish coalition presidential forum featuring presidential candidates sharing their thoughts on terrorism from israel and national security. >> yesterday on the house floor majority leader kevin mccarthy and other gop leadership talk about a bill that would strengthen requirements for the visa waiver program which admits and citizens of other countries 490 day visits to the united states without having to obtain visas beforehand.
>> so you did come in. well, thank you all for coming. as you know we put together the task force on counterterrorism and homeland security just a couple weeks ago. within that task force you have to a number of chairman. we took the committee of jurisdiction, brought them together to look and analyze from a short-term and long-term basis for the security of this country and what we see before us come especially after what transpired in paris. it in as we found one it was a challenge before they came to refugees. we're able to craft work had only been done in a number of these committees together, bring it to the floor and in a bipartisan vote, a vetoproof
past a few short weeks ago. one of the highest concerns that security we had was the visa waiver program. many of you know there's 38 countries participating. but in homeland security, they had worked on this for the candace miller bill that passed. it also worked on and on a task force and made recommendations. we have looked at those recommendations for making sure that every country has an ethos for. naked every country if they have a lost or stolen passport that they report it in interpol. we also looked at what about travel. look at the mastermind behind paris, ma he bragged about the freedom of travel throughout europe and easiness of the. river real concern that the village to come to america. without having to check. so within this bill we take those aspects to make america safer. i'm proud to say this is going to be a very strong bipartisan
support in this bill will become law. the process of work from all these committees, the work they have done through the years and we worked on the other side of the aisle as well. i think this is an example the way congress sees the problem and should solve it because this becomes a solution, not a political talking point. i want to bring of the author of the bill that had worked very hard on this long before these incidents taking place, candace miller. >> thank you very much, mr. leader. first of all what is visa waiver program? very quickly as the leader has said, if something that had its origin, its genesis really back in 80s in a country because we wanted to expedite travel and tourism entry to the united states. economically it has been a tremendous success. however, things have changed. we are in a different world today than we were back in the '80s, and so we identified this visa waiver program as
something that really leaves our country vulnerable. there are 38 participating countries, and if you're a citizen and one of those 38 countries you don't have a necessity go to the u.s. embassy or consulate to get your visa. you can travel visa free essentially. they still check security background, to your passport what you don't have to have a visa for up to 90 days coming into the united states and, of course, there's reciprocity with the united states with that. that is a huge vulnerability. so what our bill essentially does come and this was mentioned, this is a bipartisan bill. we need to talk about regular order, this is a bill for that the number of hearings in homeland security committee and the subcommittee that i chair, borders and maritime, judiciary has also had some hearings on this issue. and it passed out of the homeland security committee unanimously, which doesn't always happen on this hill. so every democrat, every republican. so we are looking for a very, very big vote next week and
essentially what it does, if you are one of these because they countries and you do not share the information rather than the travel manifest or protocols, terrorist watch list that they may be maintained in the various countries, with us and the department of homeland security secretary does not have the confidence level, the high comfort level that we need to be able to ensure that our homeland is safe, he can suspend or eliminate you from the program. and as mothers and number of other components but that is the big thing. information sharing and also using e-passport which we have most of the participating countries do not have. civility another requirement as well. the 9/11 commission said a couple of very interesting things in the recognition of this office agreed to move from the need to know information they need to share information. not just in the united states but in a program like this and is while they said for terrorists, travel documents are as good as weapons. we need to think in those terms i think. we are very excited about having
this bill come to the floor tomorrow. i want to thank all the chairman, all the various committee members that work on evolution as well for bringing us along. thank you. >> on bob goodlatte, chairman of the house judiciary committee. i want to thank the leader at all these committee chairman, especially chairman miller, not in a role as chairman of the administration committee but as would've been an advocate of a passionate advocate for a long time for working together for produces very important legislation. it's important to understand that visa waiver program is a very important program is also a privilege. it's a privilege weakest on citizens of 38 countries, more than 160 countries cannot get to purchase but in this and security concerns have been raised because there is countries have had various levels of participation in the
protocols that are necessary to make a program like this were, making sure your biometric passports, making sure you're giving interpol all the information they need. so if this legislation is going to do is make it very clear that if you are one of, a citizen or a passport holder from one of those 30 countries and to travel to the four countries designated here or any other country designated by the secretary of dhs, since 2011, or you're a dual citizen of one of those countries and one of the 30 visa waiver countries, you will not be able to utilize the visa waiver program. you'll have to go and apply for a visa, but it's important to understand no one specifically by this bill is barred from entering the united states. it simply adds an additional security precaution of the going to get a visa to come to the country rather than by passing a process which contains additional scrutiny.
this does not solve all the problems we have with making sure that our borders are secure and that the interior of our country is secure from those who would come in and commit mayhem. there are other provisions that we have taken with the refugee program. there are many other bills that the judiciary committee has worked on, the homeland security committee has worked on that would address additional concerns regarding the axis of people who have terrorist intent to the united states, and we look forward to working together on all those measures as well. thank you. >> thanthank you, leader. i want to thank you for bringing this legislation so quickly to the floor. it's a response in many ways to what happened in paris. i want to thank the judiciary for working well with us. i think it's important to state why we need this legislation. when al-baghdadi was released from prison out of iraq, what he
said was that i will see you in new york. isis as an attempt to hit the west. they have openly declared their intent to get washington and new york. we came up with a bipartisan foreign fighter task force report with 50 key findings and recommendations, and legislative recommendations as well. visa waiver being one of the top recommendations that we needed to fix. what we found in the report is a disturbing. 30,000 foreign fighters from 100 different countries, 5000 of those foreign fighters have western passports. so what does that mean? that means 5000 foreign fighters with western passports to enter the united states without a visa. and when you look at paris, several of the paris attackers carried western passports. that means that the paris attackers, the ones that the
western passports, could have entered the united states without a visa. that's why this legislation is so important. it will strengthen the visa waiver program, not abolish it, but strengthen it to keep terrorists from reaching our shores and entering into our homeland. and as was mentioned that are specific designated countries, particularly those with tears concerns that you have, you be required to get a visa before you enter the united states. you will not receive a waiver. that is the importance, i think that's the immediacy, that's the emergency concern that we have and that's why we are pushing this, be on the floor next to the come and want to commend the leader for bringing this forward but also the bipartisan nature that candace miller cultivated on the committee to passed it unanimously, but also for this thing to pass in a bipartisan manner on both sides of the aisle of the house, which is
why, how we should conduct business on matters of national security. thank you. >> chairman of foreign affairs, ed royce. >> thank you. our main objective here, obviously, is to keep the american people safe. the challenge that we have, and i recently had the opportunity to speak to the number of authorities in europe about this problem. the challenge we have is that over 5000 foreign fighters with passports have traveled to syria but then traveled back into europe. and so the question for the european government, they are franklin and a conundrum because they don't have the personnel to be able to monitor and follow all of those suspected of care risen, and many of those of have traveled to transit and traveled about. so the point of this legislation is to make certain that we don't end up fast tracking the ability of people to have a european passport to come in to the
united states come to fly into new york or some other capital or some of the major american city and carry out the same types of attacks here that they are planning right now in europe. and this will give us the capacity, also, through the system to discover those stolen passports and also those forged passport that are often being used as we put these new controls into effect. so i think it frankly strengthens the visa waiver system. that system is important for our economy, but right now in terms of security, the europeans have made it clear to us, a conundrum that they face, and it's incumbent i think upon us to act on this to make sure that we don't have the same difficulty. thank you. >> and chairman of financial services, jeb hensarling. >> well, clearly as a congress we have no more important or sacred responsibility to protect
the american people from all enemies, foreign and domestic. under the leadership of speaker ryan and later mccarthy, the house has moved quickly and deliver late to first deal with the challenge of the syrian refugee situation and never the great leadership of chairman miller we will soon deal obviously with the even greater challenge of the visa waiver program. as chairman of the house financial services committee, we have already held a half a dozen different hearings on the subject of terrorist financing, and at the appropriate time we look forward to working with our leadership in bringing legislation to upgrade the financial fuel line to terrorism. spent i want to thank everybody part of the task force. i know within a short time but this is the second piece of legislation coming forward, both of them bipartisan. this will be put on suspension with this 40,000 both sides. one part i want to emphasize.
5000 western passport holders have traveled to iraq or syria. this is why this is needed now to be able to come out of this. i know conference with long. i can only take a few questions because we have votes going on. >> any part of this legislation going to end up in the omnibus spending bill or do you want this to be a separate bill speak with i want this bill to become law. any avid for it to become law as fast as possible we will take. >> do you expect the white house to support it speak with yes, i do. >> i wonder why they weren't democrats with you? and also edc any application, to give any comment on what happened in california? >> well first i will take california, of course. what we watched, unbelievable. our prayers, our thoughts, we would not want that to happen anyplace in america. i don't know yet of what it took place. i don't think it may be, from
what it's trending to, information we're getting, i want to make sure we get all of the information out. maybe that's something this task force what to look at as well, but as of right now our hearts and prayers go to the families of the lost victims, and also to those first responders, putting their lives on the line in the videos we see coming out. we want to make sure we get all the information. as the speaker talked about earlier this week, we've been working with and we've had a mark upon him murphy's bill dealing with mental health. there has been a theme for a lot of the other shootings. i don't know yet if that is coming out of this one. up to be motivated in a different manner to have to go pro, but the flak jacket. this seems very well-planned, that we just worked with murphy before. there needs to be an overall of our mental health program. yes speak with one of the things the democrats adopt a lot about in the wake of the terrorist
attacks is folks on watch lists are still able to buy firearms. is that something this task force is going to take up at anytime? >> we will look at all items when it comes pashtun and the uniqueness of why this task force you see so much expertise different committees and so much work, we are going to think differently, knowing the way that terrorists think and the way they look at. looking at any gaps or any vulnerabilities we have out there. you asked another part of your question, i apologize. we have worked with steny hoyer and his staff throughout. we have had been scheduled prior, just the task force itself but this is bipartisan coming is spent you talk about addressing mental health issues but democrats also want to lift the ban on medical research on gun violence. it's been in spending bills. this is something you would consider? >> you know, it hasn't brought up to me yet. >> trying to put into the omnibus? >> i would ask hal rogers.
we are going to make all the committees do the majority of that were. last question. >> have you considered the economic impact on the visa waiver program changes? are you concerned about the adults. was not with this bill. correct me if i'm wrong, u.s. travel supports this bill. we wanted to make sure we found common ground. that we make common sense, protect the united states at the same time, continue to have those who want to come to america because we wanted to. we want them to enjoy the freedoms can see the attraction with his will, the economic benefits. what we want to make sure though, terrorist cannot come to the united states. and i think this bill is the first in the right direction. thank you all very much. >> iraq, syria, iran and sudan. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> congress to scale should be in for two more weeks of work on capitol hill before wrapping up for the do. house leaders are hoping to finish next week. government spending for the 2016 budget year tops the schedule. current funding runs out next week. the house will vote on a bill to tighten the visa waiver program. the senate will vote on a revised education program doing away with no child left behind. the house approved a measure wednesday and one spouse is finished with the spending bill the senate wanted to vote on it. the house you can watch live on c-span, and the senate on
c-span2. >> all persons having business before the honorable the supreme court of the united states admonished to draw near and give their attention. >> monday on c-span the landmark cases we look at the case of baker versus gore, 1962 decision that ruled federal courts could intercede in disputes over reapportion of the trunk of election districts. chief justice warren called it the most important case of my tenure on the court. here's a portion of the actual oral argument. >> these 11 tennessee voters live in five of the largest cities of tennessee. they are the intended and actual victims of a statutory scheme which devalues, reduces the right to vote to about one 20th of the value of the vote given to certain rural residents spent by the early 20th century, population shifts in states like tennessee have
matured over from rural areas move into the city and yet those rural districts with now small populations held voting power equal to the larger urban district. that group of voters from nashville, memphis and knoxville challenge the disparity and took the case all the way to the supreme court. they case of baker v. carr became a major milestone a supreme court activism and has relevance today as the term one person one vote is still being debated. joining us, theodore olson and douglas smith. that's live monday night at nine eastern on c-span, c-span3 and c-span radio. for background on each case while you watch order your copy of "landmark cases" companion book available for $8.95 plus shipping at c-span.org/landmarkcases.
>> defense secretary ashton carter and chair of the joint chiefs of staff general joseph dunford announced abuses expanding special operations force in iraq and syria to come by the islamic state militants. the specialist force will be sent to iraq to assist iraqi and kurdish forces and will be positioned to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture isis leaders. they testify tuesday. [inaudible conversations] >> the committee meets today to
hear testimony from the secretary and the chairman on our strategy against isis and the implications for the middle east. today is the first hearing we have had with secretary carter and chairman dunford together in their current roles, and i think it is appropriate that it be on this topic which is foremost on the minds of the american people. thank you both for being here. in all that has been written an -- [inaudible] in all that has been written and said about isis since the paris attacks, there seems to be widespread consensus on at least three points. isis presents a significant threat to the united states. the approach we have used to degrade and destroy isis is inadequate to meet the threat.
a different approach, a greater effort is required. while in many ways isis is more capable than al qaeda, it is certainly not invincible. yet, when we tie our own hands and use half-measures against them, it enhances their prestige and aids their cause. as dr. henry kissinger wrote six weeks ago, the current inconclusive u.s. military effort risks serving as a recruitment vehicle for isis as having stood up to american might. and david ignatius, more recently, but the halfway measures taken by the u.s. thus far have only helped the jihadists. the other consequence of such half measures is that it adds to the doubts that allies or potential allies have about our commitment and about our willingness to see the mission through. hank crumpton, who led cia's afghanistan campaign after 9/11, wrote about isis earlier this year, many have lost faith in u.s. leadership.
the perception of u.s. weakness and lack of strategic direction dissuades allies from policy and intelligence cooperation. i believe that a greater military effort must be run by the military. had a have to say, secretary carter, all three of your obama administration predecessors have complained openly about white house aides micromanaging military operations. i myself have heard from service members in the field about such instances which would have been unthinkable at any other time in history. if we are going to be serious against isis, the president needs to assign the military a clear mission and then allow them to carry it out. i believe there should be a four star headquarters in the region that is fully empowered to take the steps necessary to degrade isis now. former under secretary of defense for intelligence mike
vickers made good sense to me when he wrote ten days ago, whatever we would do if isil made good on its threat to attack washington, d.c. and new york, we should instead do now, before the attack occurs. now maybe kissinger, ignatius, crumpton, and vickers are wrong and the president has things contained and well in hand. but i don't think so. we are looking to you two gentlemen, not to repeat white house talking points, but to give us your best professional and military judgments on what is required to actually degrade and defeat this enemy and to protect our people. mr. smith. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, secretary card and transport for being educated about this incredible important topic or i agree with chip and. there's no question that isis is a true threat to we need to be confronted. they are without question the greatest fascist of the threat that we face right now. it is important to keep in
context that's what is not just isis. it was al-qaeda, now it's i suspect it is part of a broader ideology that we need to confront, that we've seen spread throughout the middle east and north africa and south asia. in many different forms. al sharia, al-shabaab, boko haram. we need to figure out how to confront it and defeat that threat. there is no question that isis renamed a great threat to western targets as well stability in middle east. that said i don't think the pictures quite as bleak as the chairman portrayed. in fact, there was an article yesterday about how isis is beginning to lose some of their supporters because their momentum has been stopped in terms of gathering territory. one of the biggest things, selling points they have from the very beginning was unlike al-qaeda they held territory, and they were growing at one time in terms of the territory they held so they could recruit people saying we are truly going to build an islamic state. they had not gained any territory.
they have lost a few downs. in the bombing campaign we have committed and primarily potential the back in certain places and has undermined that confidence in the jihadists. that's the positive. however, the chairman is correct. it's not enough. it's not enough to contain isis because as we have seen in paris and in beirut and elsewhere as long as they exist it to launch attacks. we must put together a clear strategy to defeat them. that's the other thing i will agree that chairman on, probably not as strong but the demonstration is -- disney to be clear in saying what that search is at that they are committed to be. i think they have a better strategy and more comprehensive strategy than the times they have set. let's not forget the president said i think less than a year ago we don't yet have a strategy. that's the kind of thing that doesn't need to be said. we need a much clearer message about what the charge is but i
think we have, that search is was going to use our military force in combination with as many allies as possible to try and help our allies in the region. but that is the key point. we could send 50,000 u.s. troops into iraq and syria and in short order i'm sure clear out a good portion of what is now isis. but will he also know from experience in iraq and in afghanistan isn't a western force came in and tried to pacify or mollified as part of the world, another terrorist organization would grew up in a heartbeat i said what we called it 7% itself as the alternative, as silly people defending muslims against western aggression. so i hope we don't over react. because what we need, the only way we can win this fight is if we find sunni allies in the region who are willing to lead that fight. that is what we have to do.
at also part of this is removing aside from power. as long as he's in power, that is another rallying call for isis, to fight against a brutal dictator who is oppressing their people. that's the trick that we have the isis is fighting aside, but we need to defeat both outside and i suspect and get i think this notion the u.s. military might is going to show up and fix the problem has been disproven by what has happened. understand what gives these groups the greatest force. what gives them their greatest force is make them stand up and say we are defending islam against western aggression. if all we have is western aggression, we will never win. we have to use our force, work with our allies in the region, but at the end of the day what we need is sunni allies to carry this fight. and that means we have to continue to put pressure on the baghdad government to bring sunnis into that's the biggest
thingthing that greeted isis was prime minister maliki, now a body have both aside to run a sectarian shia government. so this is me not like isis but as between that and the allied with shiite iran backed government, they choose to isis. so that's what i think we need to do. yes when you have a clear strategy. i hope we don't fall into the trap of thinking that use military might is what's going to solve this problem. it is a far more complicated problem than that. and without i look forward to the testimony from witnesses and the questions. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. secretary, chairman dunford, again thank you for being here but more importantly, thank you for the service that you providing the nation in very difficult jobs in very difficult times. added don't think any of us underestimate the challenge that's before you. mr. secretary, you're recognized. >> thank you very much, chairman thornberry, ranking member smith, all the members of this
committee. i thank you for inviting me to discuss with chairman joe dunford and accountability strategy and its execution, and chairman, i agree with you. we do need a greater effort. we are applying a great effort to go to try to describe so the ways we are doing that, and mr. smith, the underlying strategy at its clarity, i will try to provide that clarity. now, i was a tax in paris, like those that provided elsewhere, were barbaric and they were an assault on the civilization we defend. isil requires and it will receive a lasting defeat. the president had directed us to intensify and adapt the military campaign before the terrorist attacks, and will describe those new actions today. we continue to accelerate our efforts in the wake of paris and we are urging others to do the
same. because those the tax for the highlight mistakes that not just the united states but the world has been this fight. as i discuss with you in the past, the united states strategy requires leveraging all of the components of our nation's might to destroy isil. every instrument of national power, diplomatic, military, intelligence, law-enforcement, homeland security, economic, informational is engaged in every national security agencies contributing to one of the strategies lines that efforts. we are defending the homeland, acting to defeat isil and its core, its core and syria anorak come and taking action wherever else in the world this evil organization metastasizes. the defense department contributes to nearly all the lines that effort, but protecting the homeland is among our highest priorities.
we are adapting to meet isil's threat, including issuin assurie security of defense department installations and personnel. and just last week i hosted some of the top national security law enforcement leaders at the pentagon to discuss efforts to cut off the flow of foreign fighters. we at the defense department of corser also centrally responsible for the military campaign which will be the focus of my statement to this committee. through our own action and those of our coalition partners, the military campaign will destroy isil's leadership and forces them to private of resources and safe havens, and mobility, all the while we seek to identify and then enable motivated local forces on the ground to expel isil from its territory, hold and government come and ensure that victory sticks. that's the right strategic approach for two principal reasons.
first, it emphasizes the necessity of capable, motivated, local forces as the only force that can assure a lasting victory. such forces are hard to find, but they do exist. and we are enabling them and we're constantly looking for and finding effective ways to expand doing so, and i'll describe some of them. but we cannot substitute for such forces. and second, the strategic approach sets the conditions for a political solution to the civil war in syria and to crippling sectarianism in iraq which are the only durable ways to prevent a future i so like organization from reemerging. and that's what the diplomatic work led by secretary kerry and the state department is the first and absolutely critical want of effort in our strategy. we are gathering momentum on the battlefield in syria and iraq and today i will describe of the
u.s. is continuing to accelerate the belt -- military campaign against isil. and what more, we are asking of our global partners. i can't describe everything in this unclassified setting, i do want to take a few extra minutes to give as much detail as possible about the new things we're doing to accelerate isil's defeat. we are at war. we are using the might of the finest fighting force the world has ever known. tens of thousands of u.s. personnel operating in the broader middle east region, more on the way. we have some of our most advanced air and naval forces attacking isil your u.s. troops are advising and assisting ground operations in syria and iraq. i'll briefly describe some of these efforts and how we are accelerating them. first in northern syria, local forces with our support our fighting along the line engaging
isil in the last remaining pocket of access into turkey. meanwhile, a coalition of syrian arabs that we helped equip in northeastern syria with statutory authorization and funds provided by congress, of which we are grateful, are fighting alongside kurdish forces and recaptured important terrain, most recently putting pressure pushing isil out of the town of at least 900 square kilometers of surrounding territory. they are focused on moving south to isolate isil's nominal capital of rock. with the ultimate objective of collapsing is controlled -- raqqa -- over the city. this woman on the ground in northern syria event enabled by increase coalition airstrikes. as well as support on the ground. in early november we deployed additional strike aircraft in turkey. these and other aircraft in the region combined with improved intelligence allowed us in november to significantly
increase our airstrikes against isil, to the highest level since the start of operations in august 2014. to build on that momentum we are sending on president obama's orders, and the chairman's and my advice, special operations forces personnel to syria to support the fight against isil. american special operators bring a unique suite of capabilities that make them force multiplier's. they will help us garner valuable ground intelligence, further enhance our air campaign, and above all enable local forces that can be gained and then hold territory occupied by isil. where we find for the opportunity to leverage such capability, we are prepared to expand it. next come in the south of the syria we're also taking advantage of opportunities to open a southern front on isil by enabling fighters trained and equipped by us and other coalition partners to conduct
strikes inside syria. we are also enhancing the border control and defenses of a key ally, jordan. but additional military assets and assistance. in northern iraq, peshmerga units with help of u.s. airpower and advisors have we taken account of sin jar, cutting the main line of to negation between raqqa and mosul, the two largest cities under isil's control. to move people and supplies, isil must now rely on back roads where we locate and destroy them. elsewhere in iraq we have about 3500 troops at six locations in iraq in support of iraqi security forces, the isf. they are we can provide increased lethal fire and augment existing training, advising and assisting program, and we're prepared to do more as iraq shows capability and
motivation into cannot isil fight in resolving this political divisions. the progress in the sunni portions of iraq as mentioned by mr. smith is a campaign to recapture ramadi shows has been slow. much to our and prime minister abadi's frustration. despite his efforts, sectarian politics and iranian influence, have made building a multi-sectarian iraqi security forces difficult. but with some notable exceptions such as the effective use trained counterterrorism forces. we continue to offer additional uses support of all kinds and urge baghdad to enroll, training, arming and pay sunni arab fighters. as well as local sunni arab police forces to hold territory recaptured from isil. all these efforts from northern syria to iraq have shrunk the
isil controlled territory. important we have an opportunity to divide isil's presence in iraq from that in syria. this could be important because while both countries are plagued by isil, each as i said earlier has different political pathologies that provide the opportunity for extremism, and ultimately require different kinds of political progress to ensure lasting victory. next, in full garnis cornish wie government of iraq would appoint a specialized expedition or targeting force to assist the iraqi and kurdish ensure the forces to put even more pressure on isil. these special operators will come over time, be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture isil leaders. this force will also be in a position to conduct unilateral operations in syria. that creates a virtual, virtuous
cycle of better intelligence which generates more targets, more raids, more momentum. the raids in iraq will be done at the invitation of the iraqi government and focus on defending its borders and building the isf own capability. next, we are also significantly expanding u.s. attacks on isil's infrastructure and sources of revenue, particularly its oil revenue. over the past several weeks because of improved intelligence and understanding of isil's financial operations, we have intensified the air campaign against isil's more sustainable enterprise, a critical pillar of isil's financial infrastructure. in addition to destroying fixed facilities like wells and processing facilities, we have destroyed nearly 400 of isil's oil tanker trucks come reducing a major source of its daily revenues. there's more to come, too.
and we'r we are improving our capability to eliminate isil's leadership by conducting raids using the expeditionary target force i discussed a moment ago and also targeted airstrikes. since i last appeared before this committee in june, we have removed some key isil figures from the battlefield, isil's second-in-command, junaid hussain, a key external operative actively plotting against our service members. jihadi john come and isil executioner, and isil's leader in libya. like previous actions, these strikes serve notice to isil that no target is beyond our reach. finally, even as we work to defeat isil in syria and iraq where it's parent tumor has grown, we also recognize isil has metastasized elsewhere.
the threat posed by isil and groups like it can span regions and own combatant commands. that's why the defense department is organizing a new way to leverage infrastructure we've already established in afghanistan, taliban, east africa and southern europe into a unified capability to counter transnational entrance regional threats like isil. an example of this network was a recent strike where assess from several locations converged to successfully kill this isil leader in libya. as the strike shows there's a lot of potential, but to do what we need to be creative and consider changes to the defense department works and is structured. this could be an important focus of a new goldwater-nichols type reforms. which i know this committee and particularly chairman thornberry is exploring. i welcome this timely we get a look forward to working with you on it as we complete our own ongoing reform initiatives in the department. these are eight areas, just
eight, of the adaptations we've made over the past six weeks to accelerate this campaign, and we've seen momentum built. chairman dunford, if i can compliment them for a moment, has been a tremendous source of actionable ideas. we've also seen real ingenuity for our team at centcom and many of the other combatant commands involved in this fight. and president obama is committed to doing what it takes when opportunities arise as we see what works, as the enemy adapts, and until isil is defeated in a lasting way. as i just explained, we are constantly looking to do more in this fight, but the world must do the same. the international community, including our allies and partners, has to step up before another attack like paris.
france has been galvanized by the attacks on its capital. and the french have intensified their role. britain is debating expanded airstrikes. italy has made important contributions in iraq, and germany is making additional contributions. but we all, let me repeat, all must do more. turkey must do more to control its often porous border. saudi arabia and the gulf states joined the air campaign in the early days but have since been preoccupied by the conflict in yemen. meanwhile, russia, which is publicly committed to defeating isil, has instead largely attacked opposition forces, not isil. it's time for russia to focus on the right side of this fight. american leadership is essential, but the more contributions we receive from other nations, the greater combat power we can achieve using our own force.
just as importantly we also need to leverage our allies and partners relationships and capabilities to effectively work with syrians and iraqis who indian must expel isil and restore effective governance in those countries. the president, secretary kerry and i have spoken to many of our counterparts. as the chairman has as well. we are encouraging them to provide additional strike and support aircraft, special operations personnel, deeper and more effective intelligence sharing, additional train, advise and assist personnel and resources, combat search and rescue capabilities, combat support and combat service support, based security forces, and additional economic aid and humanitarian assistance. as i conclude, i want to commend this committee on last month's budget deal, which is the kind of deal i called for back in march before this committee.
it was a consequential agreement for the nation's security, and we're grateful for it. thank you. >> thank you. general dunford? >> chairman thornberry, ranking member smith, this enrichment of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to address the military dimension of our county isil strategy. secretary carter just provide a brief campaign update and an overview of our strategic approach. before taking your questions i'd like to share my perspective on the fundamentals of our county isil campaign in syria and iraq and what i believe you should expect as we move forward. isil primary sources of strength for its claim to be a caliphate commits narrative and its manpower. to be successful with coalition military campaign must reduce isil territorial control, undermine its brand, and destroyed its war fighting capability. there are two critical element of a military campaign to achieve those ends. the first is to conduct strikes
against isil targets. strikes are intended to kill leadership and fighters come interdict their lines as medication and deny them their sources of revenue. the second critical element in military campaign is to develop and support effective partners on the ground to seize and secure isil held terrain. the basic framework for the campaign is the same for iraq and syria by the conditions on the ground present unique challenges and opportunities. without a partner on the ground, syria have presented the most difficult challenge. success in syria requires working with our turkish partners, to secure the northern border of syria commendable dating, enable that feature in opposition forces that are willing to fight isil in conducting strikes to attack our isil's command-and-control and sources of revenue. in iraq with a partner in succession are supporting development of iraqi and kurdish security forces and enabling our operations with intelligence, advisors, logistics and combined arms support.
having quickly outlined what we most in the military campaign, let me provide my initial assessment of how we are doing. as with any campaign would continually examining ways to enhance the effectiveness of our operations. many weeks ag ago even before ty came the chairmen of the leadership across the department recognize we needed to increase pressure on isil by improving the effective -- effectiveness of our strikes, excellent our efforts to develop and support effective partners on the ground. in short, we were not satisfied we are doing everything possible to defeat the enemy. while recognizing the isil is a transracial threat requiring a broader strategy, our immediate focus was to bear down on were isil across syria and iraq simultaneously. after a lot of hard work my commanders and staff at every level with the president in early october with a number of recommendations designed to generate a mention in the campaign. the president approved our initial recommendations and we're truly in the process of implementing his decisions.
secretary carter provide the details of initiative in his testimony and described where we are starting to see some positive developments and where we may see additional progress in the days ahead. .. in closing as i complete my initial assessment and campaign i believe we have started to identify and implement a number of initiatives within the campaign forward